**Please note year 9, 10, 11 and 6th Form return back to school on Monday 23rd November.**
I hope that you and your families are managing to negotiate lockdown without too much stress and strain. Sandwell continues to face significantly higher infection rates than the national average for COVID-19 and this is placing pressure on all schools across the borough.
I would like to update you on our current situation and the actions that we are planning for the coming week to try and ensure consistency of education for our students. Our processes are holding up remarkably well at present. We still have relatively low infection rates amongst our staff and students. Fewer than 1% of our students and only five of our staff have tested positive. I am very proud of this and would like to commend staff and students for their diligence in following the rules.
However, we are facing continuing pressure from the Test and Trace system which has enforced a significant number of our staff to self-isolate due to contact with people who have tested positive. When staff are contacted by Test and Trace, they must self-isolate for 14 days as per the guidance. We currently have almost 20% of our teaching 8% of our support staff absent from school which is far more than we would normally expect at this time of year.
Subsequently we have made the difficult decision to close Year 9, 10, 11 and 6th Form next week from Monday 16 Nov until Friday 20 Nov, with students returning on Monday, 23 November 2020. We will be providing remote education for all students in these year groups. Their timetabled lessons will continue as normal; however, all years will work to the timings below. The links to all online lessons will be available on the Student Portal. Students will be expected to log on to these sessions and families will be contacted if their children fail to log on.
Y9 to 13 students Monday 16 November – Thursday 19 November 2020 Timetable
Please note that Friday 20 November is a Staff Training Day – there will be no lessons taking place.
Period 1 9.30am -10.20am
Period 2 10.25am – 11.15am
Period 3 11.30am – 12.20pm
Period 4 1.15pm -2.05pm
Period 5 2.10pm -3.00pm
Students should access the link to each of their lessons via their class site calendar.
For students unable to access online lessons, please contact your child’s Head of Year so a paper pack can be posted home.
These are challenging times for everyone, and we are grateful for the continued support from families and students in ensuring that we can continue to provide a safe and meaningful education for all our students.